Hello everyone, sorry to say that the show at the Brown Pelican is cancelled. I really appreciate the Pelican (and all my venues) for being so understanding during this time in my life. Have a merry Christmas everyone!
After posting a short note on Facebook about cancelling shows I wanted to clarify what is happening.
As some of you know, my wife's father passed away in June and her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's shortly before that. In an effort to give her mom the best support we can, we sat down with her brother and mom and talked about what options are available. No one liked the idea of her going into a facility, though that option was looked at, and we, collectively, felt that she would have the most success staying at her house, in the area that she knows and has known for over 40 years. My wife has chose to leave her job and become the primary caregiver and we will be moving to Pennsylvania to live with her mom.
Due to all of this happening, all shows (with the exception of tonight, September 18 at the Arendell Room, September 19 at the Jones County Heritage Days and next Thursday, September 24 at the Isaac Taylor Garden) are cancelled. In the 16 years that I have been playing shows, I can count on one hand the shows I have cancelled. I want to say a huge THANK YOU to all the venues for their understanding and support. All the venues that I had to cancel wrote me back and gave words of encouragement. I really, sincerely, appreciate it.
The show at the Brown Pelican in New Bern, NC on December 19 is still booked and I am hoping to play it as a sort of going away party. I'll keep everyone updated as soon as I have more details. We are still nailing down dates on everything but I will know soon so, if it has to be cancelled, the venue has plenty of time to get someone else booked.
I don't see this as an end, just another chapter to start. I am happy to support my wife and her family in this decision and I look forward to whatever this chapter holds. Thank you to everyone who has been supporting my art all these years. We will see you down the road. Cheers!
Folks we are going to keep this August rolling along with shows this week at........
Thursday, August 27 - Isaac Taylor Garden, New Bern, NC - 6pm
Friday, August 28 - Satellite Bar and Lounge, Wilmington, NC - 9pm
Saturday, August 29 - Common Market, Charlotte, NC - 9pm
I'd love to see you out at a show, we can have a beer together and tell jokes! We can talk about kids and how much we hate facebook but still use it! We can act like we hate Ace Of Base but share how we secretly listen to and love them! We can talk about religion and our favorite gas stations!
Scarlet wants to take my picture with Elvis.......
Hey there folks (with an "L"),
Busy week, so here it is.....:
Thursday, August 20 - Idle Hour, Atlantic Beach, NC - 6:30pm
Friday, August 21 - Ruckus Pizza, Raleigh, NC - 10pm
Saturday, August 22 - Muggs on Main, Doylestown, PA, 10pm
Sunday, August 23 - Sunbury Social Club, Sunbury, PA - 6pm
Then I plan to sleep until Thursday of the following week......
Tell a friend!
I visited Ryan a few weeks ago and we sat at his place, after both of our kids were in bed, and had a few beers and did this interview. It turned out great. I think. Ryan's wife kept walking by and interjecting her own thoughts, so really this is a "two for the price of one". Enjoy!
This is Ryan Earnhardt's interview. Ryan, do you feel this album, The Lumen Sessions, is different (I then rant about the smell of a fart...) than past albums of mine? "Yes."
How? "The instrumentation. (long pause.... we both laugh) Okay, let me explain. I think your past albums were going after the, maybe the Ryan Adams and the Cardinals .....uh..... sound. Because you secretly had a love affair with that band. But I think this album was trying to search for .....(laughter).... the real Flint."
Awwww. "Yeah, the real Flint. And, uh.... (laughter).... I love how you're recording this instead of trying to write it down. In your state. (laughter) (Ryan's cat meows in the background and his wife says something as she walks into the room.) I'm being interviewed, honey. He's interviewing me."
What is your favorite song from The Lumen Sessions? "String."
Why is that your favorite? These are deep questions. (Ryan's wife again says something.) That's enough over there! (laughter) Fiona Apple... (laughter at the inside joke and she states she is going to bed.) "My wife is in bed and I am not there."
Right. Well, you have to answer these questions. (laughter) Why is that your favorite? (laughter) "Um, I think String touches on a vibe that maybe it's just the vibe of a place that, that, uh, maybe I can't go to or is beyond my scope of reality, but it's a place that I can act like, it's like this crazy bar or something. People are going nuts and there's this raunchy blues/rock music and stuff and people are going nuts for it, you know, and in real life, um..... a bar doesn't look like that. But I want it to look like how I see it when I hear String, you know? I want people to be going nuts, dancing on tables.... (laughter). You know, like......"
Drinking Green Man IPA? "What are you smiling about?" (Ryan's wife obviously did NOT go to bed and is heckling.)
I have my questions! " Okay,......"
Why are you still here, I thought you were going to bed? (She asks if I am really asking him questions.) Yes I'm asking him questions, I have them written down. These are all my questions. (She says she sees that.) (We try to explain what we are doing.) "He interviewed his daughter and she mentioned me several times, it was really weird."
Yeah, yeah. I asked Scarlet and then I asked Jana. Ryan's next. (laughter) (She says she thought we were just playing around.) No. No, all this will be typed up. (laughter) "He's going to have to transcribe, therefor I am giving a really long answer." (She asks if I need a pen. I try to explain that I am recording it with my phone.) "Okay, okay, here's the thing. Flint types at about ten words a minute (laughter) which is basically (I say it's going to take me days), it's not like chicken pick, it's kind of like two or three finger chicken pick, okay. (laughter) So..."
Answer the questions. "Okay, I'm going to make sure I make them really long."
Describe your perception of the writing process. (Ryan tries to grab my phone and put it closer to himself.) I put it there so I can hear myself too. "(whispers) oh."
I have to be able to hear what I'm asking. "Okay..."
He touches my phone! "HUH?"
You touched my phone. "Yeah, I know."
Oh, okay. "Well...."
Describe your perception of my writing process. "I really like your writing process actually. I think your writing process is..... is that you don't have any...... you know, ideas planned out or any parts written, necessarily. But, you're, you're actually showing up to the studio to discover the song itself and I think that is the best way to do it. It's that the song, starting with the basic guitar rhythm and the vocal melody and the lyrics, the song fills itself out as we go through the day and each layer is dictating what the next layer should be. So, as we're listening to the guitar part and the vocal, we're thinking about what the drums should be, it's telling us what those drums should be, you know, and then from there we're hearing, like for String for example, we're hearing the claps, or we're hearing the bass or whatever next, you know, and um..... beyond that, um....., really, ....... your process only, only requires about two or three rounds of that, cause after that it's just a lot of beer, (laughter) and a lot of dicking around (laughter). And then the song is done (laughter)."
We pull the plug. "Yes! (laughter) But! But the song doesn't sound incomplete though. Because if you have guitar and drums and maybe some low end somewhere, um.... it definitely has to have bass, but, um...... you know, as long as it's a full spectrum kind of sound, where you are filling out the range, uh........ then, yeah, the song sounds done, you know? Sometimes it's the claps or whatever or sometimes it's the vocals..... but..... but usually your writing process revolves around basic tracks, lots of beer and zero expectations (laughter)."
All of that could have been summed up with that.... (laughter) Do you feel Ryan Earnhardt's involvement made a difference in The Lumen Sessions? (laughter) "Now what kind of question is that? (laughter)"
It's so vain. (laughter) "I think that, because we're dealing with an art form, that you literally can record,..... you can record...... you can literally, if you wanted to, rerecord the same songs and get different results every single time. So, sure, on that day, you know, depending on what mood I was in I would play the drum beat a little bit different and I might have different ideas depending on the day, I might have different aspirations and, ........ you know..... (laughter) So, so yeah, i do think it made a difference."
That was good. What do you think about the older songs that we, that have been redone? "What would some of those be?"
So that would be like, uh... "Violent Red?"
Violent Red is one, um.... uh....... it used to be called Martin Myers then we, you, renamed it Under The Jaw. Songs like that. " You named that song Under The Jaw."
I did? "Yeah."
I think you renamed everything. "No..."
If it has a new name, you renamed it. "No, I know for a fact, you said, under the jaw. I asked you."
Cause it's in the fucking song! "Yeah, I know."
Oh. And I said to type it in? "Yeah. I said, what's this song called and you said......"
Everything else that was renamed, you renamed it. " Nah, I didn't rename any one of your songs. (laughter)"
You renamed most of them. "You know what I renamed?"
What do you think about them? "Is Ocean's Laughter."
No you didn't! You didn't even do that song! (Ryan laughs) "Yes. I called it Ocean's Laughter."
What do you think about the songs that have been redone? Older songs? "I think that .....(laughter) I think that there's more of you in your own damn songs! You know? I think that.... I think that your older stuff was, in a lot of ways, a little overdone or overmixed, even the stuff that I mixed for you sounds a little over EQed, for example, and I look back and I think why did I, you know, EQ it so funny, or whatever. And so, I think that having,.... I think that the biggest difference is that in the process that I use, it's a tracking and mixing kind of all in one so that the mixing doesn't completely redo what we tracked, you know? Um, on the first project we did it to where it's like, oh wow, you know, like, I'm going to rerecord that one tom hit for example, (laughter) you know, but it was like there was so much of like, getting it up to spec. Now, for this, for this project, for Violent Red or whatever, it was like, keep it as raw as possible, keep the energy there, um.... keep the feel there, you know, so everything was, is as honest and raw as possible and that carried into the mixing as well because now when we mix it, it's basically don't screw it up, you know, don't over EQ it or don't do something weird to the vocal or whatever, um...... so the biggest difference is that it's stripped down but I think that it's probably a lot more honest.
Alright, I gotta pause it here, I need another beer. (We take a beer break and then we're back)
This is, uh, Ryan's interview part two, had to go get some beers (laughter). I'll type all that in. Is The Lumen Sessions relevant in today's music? "I think that it is a counter to today's music. I think that today's music is over clocked, it's over, um..... you know, its over looped and sampled and, uh, you know, tempo synced and all that. And generally you don't have any organic feel in today's music and I want to say maybe even country or, you know, some sort of pop music that uses real instruments would be the best chance for it. Maybe some rock, the Black Keys or something, really your music stands in the wake of tons of over-produced shit that's out there. You look at Maroon 5, for example, Maroon 5 started out with real drums and guitars, bass, they actually had a cool groove going, and if you look at what they have now, what they are releasing, it's like techno beats. Did they fire their real musicians and keep the lead singer? I'm pretty sure they did. (I snort with laughter) Like literally, you know, your music is actually, you know, it's actually expressive and that's the biggest thing is that you're not going to get expression of subtle details with like, you know, I love techno music and I create it and I love, like, where you can go with electronic music, you can push the boundaries like nothing else but, there's not the same nuances that are present in that music that you get with, you know, music that we've created. So I think it's actually music that will,..... if it's not relevant it will become some sort of, you know, cherished music just like I, hopefully, like I cherish Wrecking Ball by, uh..... um..... what's her name? Type in her name. (laughter)
Emmylou Harris. "Yeah. Daniel Lanois produced that. And, and.....um..... so, like, that was from 1994 and maybe that was celebrated at the time, maybe it wasn't, but we are certainly celebrating it now. And so....for me, yeah, it's really relevant because if you don't create art that matters, um, ..... you know, there's not a whole lot left to live for, I think.
Wow. How would you describe the musical style of The Lumen Sessions? " (Laughter) What idiot wrote these questions? (Laughter) (Sarcastically) Blues slash Rock slash folk, with an "L", (laughter)."
Perfect. (Laughter) Give me your favorite memory of a show or an on-the-road experience with me? "I think..... trying to think of uh....... trying to think of what my favorite would be..... it's, it's gotta be probably the Gin Mill, where we were both way past gone and you were able to function still and I was just slap happy and it was probably about 1am and you decide to make idiot faces at me as you're playing your own songs (laughter), to where I can't even play my groove anymore because it's just so funny that I can't play (laughter). And then that night wraps up with me counseling people at the bar and (laughter). And then the whole place shuts down and I realize I have to pack up my kit, .....my drumset, my drumset is perfectly set up (laughter), it's, like, got lights on it still, you know, it's like shining, it's like the rest of the bar has chairs on the table, upside down, (laughter) and my drumset has microphones plugged into the PA system, it's got lights on it, it's got cymbals that are shining, it's got, it's literally got everything, including, like, a fresh drink and ready to go. And meanwhile, I realize that I've been in this indepth counseling session (laughter) and we've already played three sets, there's no more playing to be done. (laughter) That's probably, that's gotta be my favorite memory of us touring or playing."
That's good. "Yeah."
Do you feel there are enough references to people being killed on The Lumen Sessions? "Sure." (laughter)
What kind of person do you think this album appeals to? "I think that it appeals to a very, ..... I think Flint's audience appeals,..... Flint Zeigler's audience, .... I think this man, Flint Zeigler, his audience, comma, appeals to a very complicated specimen. (laughter) One that enjoys the ups and downs of songs like Under The Jaw and On My Love, yet, enjoys the simple pleasures of Johnson City, Sunday's afternoon drive through town where the city's just wonderful."
Very good. (laughter) Has music or a song made any impact on your own life or caused you to change your viewpoints on anything? "Are you talking about your music?"
Just music in general. "Okay, I'm sorry, say the question again."
Has music or a song made any impact on your own life or caused you to change a viewpoint? "Sure, yeah, it definitely has, I mean, you know, I think there was a time where I used music to find myself and then there's definitely a time where doing too much of one style of music caused me to lose myself, then I had to use music to re-find myself, you know, reconnect with, with parts of me that I lost. There were times where I wasn't even able to hear music or enjoy music because I was so numb, or so destroyed, that I had to relearn how to listen to music. And so, I wouldn't say it's a sophisticated role in my life, but I think it's more of a, almost like an emotional barometer in my life, where, you know, I can tap into different parts of me and, uh... you know, feed different parts of me. It's probably the reason why I create music and I help others create music because I know that it's tapping into their deepest parts as well as feeding their deepest aspirations of what they want to see in the world. And what they dream of doing, so they make it. They make it through music. So, the answer is sure. (laughter) It definitely does."
What are the last two CD's you listened to? "Well, ..... I think it was Wye Oak, that's W, Y, E Oak, and then, um..... Probably.... probably Junky Star by Ryan Bingham, I guess."
This concludes our interview. (laughter).
So, thank you to Earnhardt family for putting up with me. I love you all and appreciate all that you do for me and my family. Cheers Ryan, here's to many more years of creating art together!
Just added several shows to the calendar so be sure to check that out!
August is pretty busy, starting off we are at the Arendell Room in Morehead City, NC on August 4 and then we are at the Brown Pelican in New Bern, NC on the 8. We love both venues and are happy to be back!
This interview is a must read. My wife of 8 years let loose....
Do you feel this album, The Lumen Sessions, is different than past albums? "Yes."
How? "More organic."
Favorite song on The Lumen Sessions? "Oh man.... I have a couple.... I really like.... String, I really like Johnson City, I really, really like Rock N Roll, but on The Lumen Sessions it's called Play What You Know and I really like Will We Be The Same. And I also really like Front porch Swing."
Why is that your favorite? "(Laughs) Because it's,.... they all have a nice syncopated rhythm to them and I like the sounds of them and I like your voice, your voice is quite gravely and its much different than what you've done before."
Describe your perception of the writing process. "(Chuckles) You either grab a few beers or a bottle of Jack (Daniels) and..... you take a couple swigs and you write some stuff down and you play it on your guitar and you work on it a couple times and then you've got a song. Sometimes you sit down and it all comes out and sometimes you work on it for weeks. Or months. That's how I see your writing process. I don't write songs so I don't have a process! (long pause) My perception of your songwriting process? ..... yeah. You are inspired and you write. Sometimes you are not inspired and you don;'t write. Sometimes you drink a lot and you write. Why are you giving me that look? (laughs)"
Do you feel Ryan Earnhardt's involvement made a difference in The Lumen Sessions? "Absolutely."
How? "Because he is so unbelievably creative when it comes to, for instance, these organic sounds, the, the junkyard percussion idea and he has, he can hear rhythms and beats that just are not, they're not common, or they're not mainstream, they're not everyday, know what I mean? They're not,..... he thinks outside of the box and he's extremely creative when it comes to that and I think it works well with your creativity."
What do you think about the older songs that have been redone? "I'm so tired of those old songs being redone because I really like your new material."
(Laughter) Is The Lumen Sessions relevant in today's music? "Irrelevant? Or relevant?"
Is The Lumen Sessions relevant in today's music? "I believe so. Absolutely. I think it's right up there with all of the roots rock, americana art that's out there right now. It doesn't go with Nickleback and Poppa Roach (??) and all that bullshit but that's not where you want to be. This is right up there with all of your influences, it fits quite well. This Lumen Sessions, I think this Lumen Sessions is much more true to who you are and your sound than any other album that you've created."
How would you describe the musical style of The Lumen Sessions? "I would call it roots rock. Americana. With very much influence of Tom Waits, Neil Young and of the like. For sure. And I mostly say that because of, of, the song context and...... and the sound. The organic sound, it's not all plugged in and wired and dubbed over and all that shit. It's nice and raw. I like it."
Favorite memory of a show or on the road experience with me? "Oh god. I haven't had many lately. Favorite? I'm partial. Because I'm your wife. (long pause) I always enjoyed when you came off stage and came right to me and gave me a kiss or something because then I felt like, yeah, he's mine. And I often remember Gullity's (venue in Camp Hill, PA) after work. Those stick in my head. Quite often. But favorite show? Per say? I've been to so many, in the early days I don't really remember which would be my favorite, they were all pretty fun..... huh........ I don't know, I guess I'd have to think about it. Why are you asking me these questions?"
Do you feel there are enough references to people being killed on The Lumen Sessions? "(Laughs) There are probably way too many! There could be people who question......you. Through your music with as many references to death and people dying and killing people on this album. It is quite dark. In that aspect. Sometimes it can be concerning."
What kind of person do you think this album appeals to? " What type of person? What type of person."
What kind of person? "What kind of person. What do you mean what kind of person? Is that like a racist remark? Or is that?.... What do yo mean what kind of person? A young person? An old person? A white person? A black person? What do you mean?"
What kind of person do you think this album appeals to? "I think it appeals to people who are not necessarily caught up into mainstream music, art, television, all of that. People who are a little bit more well rounded when it comes to entertainment. Like those who know of artists such as Lucinda or Ryan Adams, that whole crew, that whole type of person, whatever you want to call it, like an Ellery (Cincinnati based duo) type person, an Over The Rhine (another Cincinnati based band) type person. They're not mainstream but they appreciate good music. I think any of them, any of that kind of person would, however you want to label them. Even so, I think a lot of people who are caught up in the mainstream, who are like a rock and roll person or something, classic rock type person, if they were to listen to your music, I think they would appreciate it. But I don't know if I could actually label a type of person that would be,..... I don't know if I can do that. Cause I wouldn't know. Because then you're, you're trying to compartmentalize people and fit a genre and I don't know if that's really, that's really what it's all about. Is it? Do you really want to do that?"
I'm interviewing you. Has music or a song made any impact on your own life or caused you to change your viewpoint? "Oh sure, and again, I'm, I'm biased because you're my husband, so sometimes I find it interesting because I feel like I can see your perspective in a different way through your music than how I perceive you directly. For instance String, I love that song because, maybe I'm vain, but I hear a lot of the struggles between you and I in that song. You know, you call me superficial, well that's interesting, I need to think about that. Because if you're putting it down and that song is really about me, and you really see me as superficial,..... I don't know how I feel about that because I don't see myself as superficial. So, so yes, sometimes when I listen to your music it makes me stop and think, hmmm, if, if you are referencing things that are familiar and close to you and if they are about our relationship, our marriage, our experiences, etc., sometimes they seem like a window to your perceptions that I'm not aware of. And I can use that, and I try to use that sometimes, to, you know, look into where we are."
What are the last two CD's you listened to? "This one, Lumen Sessions, I actually took it out of the vehicle this morning to put it on my work computer this morning and then when I left today I put it back in and I listened to it again. And I've listened to, I guess it was Marks Of Another Year, that I just listened to the other day."
No, no, the- "No, no, no! I'm serious! Those are the last two, no, the last, this was the last one and the one before that was the Old 97's, but when I was at work it was the Marks Of Another Year, last Friday."
So the last two albums that you listened to? "That one, The Lumen, and I guess it was the Old 97's."
This concludes our interview. "Why are you interviewing me? "
These are going great!!! Cheers and check back for more!
I thought it would be fun to do some interviews about The Lumen Sessions. Most of the time when an album comes out, you hear interviews from the band or artist talking about how they perceive the project that they just finished or from music reviewers about their "professional opinions". I was driving down the highway one day and wondered how the everyday folks in my life feel about my album. So I made a list of questions and a list of people I wanted to interview.......
My first interview goes to Scarlet Meadow, my own flesh and blood, the pride of my life, my traveling partner and merch girl. Did I ever mention that I love this kid? So here is how this works: I wrote down the questions before hand, the list will be asked to each interviewee, and asked Scarlet each as it was written. She had a copy of The Lumen Sessions in hand to reference and I hit record on my voice memo app. I didn't want to explain anything, but there is a little of rewording for her (as noted). She has classic Scarlet answers and it proved to be a wonderful little talk. Enjoy!
Okay, are you ready for our interview? "Yes."
Tell me your name. "Scarlet"
Do you feel this album (The Lumen Sessions) is different than the past albums I've done? "Yes."
How do you feel it's different? "Because Ryan has done The Lumen instead of Steve."
Favorite song from The Lumen Sessions? "Will We Be The Same."
Why is that your favorite song? "Because it has Jessica."
Describe your perception of the writing process for this album (how do you think I wrote this album?). "Uh. I don't know."
(What do you imagine in your head that I did to write the album? "You....... talked to Ryan about it and Jessica about it and then you wrote it and then you guys practiced it?"
Do you feel Ryan Earnhardt's involvement made a difference in The Lumen Sessions? "Yes."
How? "He's different than Steve and Patrick" (For those that don't know, I use three different drummers in different areas, Steve Geyer, Patrick Edwards and Ryan. My kid obviously sees vast differences between all of them.....)
Some of the songs on here I did before, right? What do you think about the older songs that I redid? "I like them.'
Is The Lumen Sessions relevant in today's music? "Yes."
How would you describe the musical style of The Lumen Sessions? "I'd say it......... it's kinda slower than the other ones."
(I ask the question again.) "Uhhhhhhh...... I don't know. "
What is your favorite memory of a show or on-the-road experience with me? "Uhhhhh.... meaning song-wise?"
No, what is your favorite memory of a show or being on the road with me? "Selling CD's."
Any specific show you liked selling CD's at? "My favorite one is, actually, the Front Street Station."
Do you feel there are enough references to people being killed on The Lumen Sessions? "Not really."
(I'm dying of laughter....) What kind of person do you think this album appeals to? "Uhhhh.... Ryan."
Is that it? "Uhhhh.... uhhhh...."
What kind of people do you think would like this album? "Um..... uh, probably Steve?"
Just those two people? "Ryan and Steve."
Alright. Is that it? "Yeah."
Nobody else would like it? "Maybe, I don't know."
Do you think kids would like it? "Probably."
Do you think grown-ups would like it? "Yeah."
So what kind of people do you think would like it? "Uhhhh...... I don't know. What do you think?"
This is your interview. "Dad......"
Has music or a song made any impact on your life or caused you to change a viewpoint? "Hmmmm. Uhhhhhh...... I don't really know. Uhhh. How'd you...... I mean how would you feel if somebody...."
Next question, I'm interviewing you. What are the last two CD's or albums you listened to? "Uhhhhhhhhhhhhh..........What? What albums do I listen to? I'll tell you what, I listen to Parade a lot....."
No, no, no, the last two CD's of anyone that you just listened to. "Probably, um...., Flint Zeigler - Flint Zeigler (a mix I made for her of demos and things years ago), that's what I listen to on my ipod all the time. Uhhhh..... a Hundred Party Songs."
A Hundred Party Songs? "Oh, no, Thirty Party Songs. Yeah."
There you have it! More interviews to come! Cheers!
It was an incredible June, a June like no other. I really appreciate all the venues that take a chance on me and book a show. So I really appreciate Southern Hops in Florence, SC, Latitude 35 in Fayetteville, NC and the Arendell Room in Morehead City, NC. Thank You. And Thank You to everyone that came out, listened, bobbed your head, bought a CD, chatted for a few minutes, let me eat your left over pizza, bought a round of beers or Jack and Cokes, talked gear, talked kids or just refrained from screaming "Freebird!". You all are the best.